Adam Witty, Founder & CEO of Advantage Media Group (AMG)
Adam Witty’s BIO
Adam Witty is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Media Group (AMG), where he heads up strategic business development and growth opportunities for the company. AMG, began in the spare bedroom of Witty’s home, and now has a roster of international authors. Started in 2005, AMG is a leader in book publishing, book marketing and online learning.
Witty helps authors grow their credibility, influence and business by supporting them with the tools to write, publish, market and sell their book.
He is an in-demand speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business development techniques for entrepreneurs and authors, and is a frequent guest on the acclaimed Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour.
Witty has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Young Money Magazine, on ABC and Fox and was selected as one of INC. Magazine 30 Under 30 for “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011.
He is the author of “21 Ways to Build Your Business with a Book”, “21 Ways to Build Your Business with a Magazine” and co-author of “How To Build Your Dental Practice With a Book”, “How to Build Your Law Practice with a Book” and “Click: The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing for Authors” and “The Book Itch”.
Witty serves on the Board of Directors of Banco MicroCapital, a Peruvian based micro finance organization, and Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina (YEScarolina). He is also a member of the Council on Small Business for the US Chamber of Commerce. Witty is a proud alumnus of Clemson University and happy to call Charleston, South Carolina home.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Please tell us about the inception of Advantage Media Group.
Adam: My mentor is a man named Pat Williams, Co-Founder of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Aside from being a sports executive, Pat is also a motivational speaker and a prolific author. I spent two summers working for a publishing house in high school. What I thought I would hate, I actually liked quite a bit. Right before I was to graduate from college, I was home in Orlando for a few days and had lunch with Pat. He convinced me that I should start a publishing company for professional speakers and business leaders. He believed there was a great need in the marketplace. If not for his over-the-top encouragement, I’m not sure that I would have taken this leap.
2. Given your current professional and personal goals, please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Adam: Every day is a bit different, but I will admit that I have found success at most things I do by creating repeatable patterns, habits, and routines. The same has been true for me in business.
As our company has grown to now 22 team members, I would say that I spend the majority of my time working with my colleagues, rather than directly doing things. I am motivating, coaching, advising, giving feedback, asking for feedback, and overall serving as a sounding board. I also spend a lot of time working with our marketing and sales teams, and try to constantly interact and check-in with our clients. Even though I am not central to the process, it is enlightening to check in on clients and see how they are doing, what they are thinking, etc. I probably travel 1-2 weeks per month, speaking at conferences and events, many of which Advantage is a sponsor.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?
Adam: I can’t imagine where I or my company would be without our CRM system, Salesforce.com. Wow, that system really drives the entire sales and marketing side of our business!
Personally, I love the App QuickVoice (a digitial voice recorder app) as I have lots of idea brainstorms in the car or just walking down the street. I want to capture them before I forget. I also use JetFitPro and MyFitnessPal to meticulously track all of my health and workout info. Your body is a temple, and you have to take great care of yourself physically if you expect to shine in the office.
4. What are tricks for accomplishing so much under tight deadlines?
Adam: Delegation. As an organization grows, the only way that you can scale without burning yourself out is to delegate responsibility to highly competent people.
You also have to create an atmosphere and culture in an organization of accountability and promptness. When deadlines get missed, you can’t sweep it under the rug; you have to make a big deal about it.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Adam: Boy, there were a lot of pieces of advice. Here are a few credos that I try to live by:
1. You only live life once, but if you work it right, once is enough.
2. The only way to grow an organization is to grow sales. The only way to grow sales is to grow a sales team in quantity and quality of people.
3. Do you what you love, and you will never work another day in your life.
4. Early to bed, early to rise, work like heck…and advertise.
6. What are your strategies for building awareness of Advantage Media Group, for the short term and the long term ?
Adam: The most dangerous number in marketing is 1.
Diversity leads to stability. We have dozens of proven lead generation and customer acquisition strategies. We are constantly working to improve them and find better ways. That said, we find the speaking engagements, webinars, and joint promotions through affiliate/joint venture partners are especially effective. Of course, I and other executives at Advantage have written books…so we use the books as a tool to position ourselves in the marketplace as THE thought leader in business book publishing and marketing.
7. What are your proudest achievements, personal and professional?
Adam: My proudest professional achievement, thru trial and error, is building an organization that breeds greatness – for our team members, clients, and shareholders. Personally, I suppose it is having the resiliency and determination to get up every morning, choosing to be positive, and seeing a world full of opportunities.
8. How do you maintain the work/life balance? Is it a challenge or does it come naturally to you?
Adam: I’ve never accepted this concept of “balance” that most people apply. Balance is unique to each individual. The person so passionate about what they do that they work 80 hours per week is hardly unbalanced. I would argue the person that stares at a clock every day, dreading their job, sprinting to the parking lot at 5:01pm is the poor, unbalanced soul. Balance is the equilibrium that works for you.
9. What are your top 3 book recommendations?
Adam: “American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company.” The book details Mulally’s Business Plan Review, an incredible way to manage a business.
“Mastering The Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish. So many to-do’s for quick growing businesses.
“The Discipline of Market Leaders,” this book will help you decide what your company really is, and what it should be.
10. What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?
Adam: I believe in free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and the American spirit that has made America the greatest country in the world for entrepreneurs and innovators. I believe that, for America to continue to be the envy of the world, we must create an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking. I am the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of YEScarolina (Youth Entrepreneurship South Carolina). We certify public school teachers in SC to teach entrepreneurship. We also run business plan competitions for students throughout the state. I also sit on the Board of Advisors for Clemson University’s Spiro Entrepreneurship Institute. I support Clemson, YEScarolina, American Enterprise Institute, and a few other select organizations with my time, talent, and treasure.
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Adam: Lots of people. My parents, my professors at Clemson, and my mentors. Most notably perhaps, my mentor Pat Williams encouraged me to get into this business. I am influenced with every new book I read…which is good reason that the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs are avid readers.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in a career in starting a business?
Adam: Make sure you really want to do this. Starting and growing a business is not for the normal, faint of heart, and non-resilient. You must have a strong stomach. You must be a fighter. You must have a sense of purpose, ambition, and resiliency that is without equal.